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and from the countries beyond it; that in calculating this duty, 10 per cent. is first added to the prime cost of the goods, and the duty afterwards calculated on the amount in the following manner:

Prime cost
10 per cent. added

Prime cost in Europe

Additional charge at Montreal


15 per cent. duty on £110

But that in estimating the duty on goods imported from Canada, the custom house officers add 10 per cent. not to the prime cost, but to their value at Montreal, where it is the custom for merchants to add 83 per cent. to the prime cost in Europe, as an equivalent for the expense and risk of transporting them so far, and that proceeding on this principle, the duties on goods imported into the United States from Canada are calculated in the following


Additional 10 per cent.

16 10

33 6 8

133 6 8 13 6 8

146 13 4

Duty of 15 per cent. on £146 13 4 amounts to £22: so that the same goods which pay a duty of only 16s. 8d. when imported by an American dealer, pay a duty of £22 when brought to the same market by a British dealer, contrary to the obvious spirit and meaning, and to the express stipulation of the treaty of 1794.

Under the third head of minor grievances are to be classed the following: 1st. Though British subjects are entitled, in the terms of the treaty of 1794, "freely to pass and repass by land or inland navigation into the territories of the United States," yet they are obliged to pay $6 for a license to trade with the Indians within the boundaries of the United States by the servants of the States; and when they arrive at the American ports in the interiour, they are often compelled to dismiss their canoe men, and to hire others at a great expense and inconvenience.



2d. Though it is agreed in the treaty "that no duties shall be payable on any goods which shall merely be carried over any of the portages, or carrying places, on either side, for the purpose of being immediately re-embarked and carried to some other place or places," yet various attempts have been made to collect such duties at the American portages, which have at length compelled the British traders to abandon the grand portage, and to establish a new portage at Kiminesti, within the British line.

Though the arrangement of the Indian trade by the treaty of 1794 was "intended to render in a great degree the local advantages of each party common to both, and thereby to promote a disposition favourable to friendship and good neighbourhood," yet the revenue officers of the United States, without considering the difficulty of observ. ing in the lakes and rivers of Canada those regulations with regard to the approach to shores and ports, which are applicable to the ports of the ocean, have, in many instances, and in particular in the case of the two batteaux stopped at Michilimackinac, manifested a disposition to harrass and impede the trade of British merchants on pretences the most frivolous and unfounded, and in a manner equally vexatious and injurious to them.


London, April 22, 1807.

SIR,We had the honour to receive your letter of Feb. 3d, on the 6th instant, and are now to give you a detail of the measures we have pursued in obedience to the instructions it communicated.

To enable you to form a just idea of those measures, it will be proper to state concisely what had occurred at the time of receiving your letter, after the departure of Mr. Purviance with the treaty, and our despatch of the 3d of January.

Soon after that date we resumed our conferences with the British commissioners, as we intimated it was our intention to do, and had nearly digested with them the project of a supplemental convention upon the principal topicks alluded to in the last paragraph of that despatch,

when an entire change took place in the British ministry: lord Grenville and his associates being compelled to retire in favour of the friends of the late Mr. Pitt. This change, of course, suspended the farther progress of the business, and in that state it still remains.

Before this change in the administration, we had presented to the British commissioners, according to an agreement which accompanied the signature of the treaty, an antedated note on the subject of indemnity, and another to lord Howick on the same subject, previously seen and approved by the British commissioners. With these papers, (of which copies are now transmitted) the British commissioners not only expressed their perfect satisfaction, but assured us then, as they have frequently done since, that the just confidence with which that agreement had inspired us, in regard to its object, would not be disappointed.

We had many conferences with the British commissioners, previous to the late change, upon the subject of impressments, in which they invariably declared to us, that the practice of their government would be strictly conformable to the spirit of the article which they had settled with us, and which was afterwards rejected by the cabinet. They stated, that the prejudice of the navy, and of the country generally, was so strong in favour of their pretension, that the ministry could not encounter it, in a direct form; and that, in truth, the support of parliament could not have been relied on in such a case. It was their idea that, by discontinuing the practice in the mode proposed by them, which might be done without giving any shock to the publick feeling, this prejudice might be gradually overcome, and an arrangement by treaty on this very delicate and difficult subject rendered ultimately practicable. The United States would in the interim. enjoy the security they sought, without any abandonment of their rights, and be induced to yield in return, as their confidence increased, the equivalents which we had offer ed in our project.

The footing upon which the note of the British commissioners (which is and must be considered as equally obligatory as if actually inserted in the treaty) left this point, was supposed to be the less liable to exception on our part, because, while it affords a pledge, unquestionably intended to secure the substance of our object, and con

stantly admitted here to be equal to that effect, it keeps it, nevertheless, for our advantage, completely open for future negotiation and more formal adjustment. The note declares that the discussion of any plan will be entertained that can be devised "to secure the interests of both states, without injury to rights to which they are respectively attached," and consequently provides for a renewal of negotiation with a sincere view to such an arrangement as shall be practically consistent with the declared pretensions of the United States, and yet leave untouched the British principle; or, in other words, an arrangement, in which Great Britain shall agree to conform her conduct to our views, without renouncing the claim which she has hitherto maintained and acted upon. It was supposed, therefore, to be the clear import of that note, that the conduct of Great Britain would not, while the discussion of such a plan as it might be proper to insert in a treaty stood postponed at the request of its commissioners, encroach in practice upon rights, which we had so strongly asserted and vindicated as rights not to be abandoned, which it was well understood our government and country would not suffer to be invaded in future as they had been during the past, and which the British commissioners themselves, acting under the immediate orders of the cabinet, had in their note distinctly recognised as fit to be preserved hereafter from injury and violation. This conclusion was thought to be the more just and natural, when it was remembered that it was supported, not only by the verbal admissions and declarations of the British commissioners, which would of course, as they well knew, be reported to our government, but by the language of such parts of the note as looked particularly to the future practice of Great Britain on the subject of impressments. It was believed to be fortified too by the obvious consideration, that the United States would be authorized, notwithstanding any adjustment by treaty upon other points, in case of the impressment on the high seas of a single mariner from on board an American vessel, to view it as an act of aggression, and to resent it accordingly. This right existed, undoubtedly, independently of that note; but it seemed notwithstanding to derive from it a new and high sanction favourable to its just effect: and certainly the sensibility and determination which have been manifested

on this point by the United States, especially of late, and by the American commissioners during the recent negotiation, must have inspired this government with the conviction, th a perseverance in such outrages upon their sovereignty and the rights of their citizens, would be wholly incompatible with the peaceful relations of the two countries, which it was the professed object of the British commissioners and their government to preserve. It is proper, however, for us to state, that it was our intention. to have requested of this government written explanations on this topick of impressment, as well as on that of indemnity, for the purpose of transmitting them to you. The approaching departure of Mr. Monroe for the United States would, it was thought, furnish a suitable occasion for such an application.

Towards the end of the last month, the change took place in the ministry, and on the 27th the diplomatic corps had their first interview with Mr. Canning, who succeeded lord Howick in the foreign department. Although the meeting was general, a separate audience was given, as is usual, to the representatives of each power. At Mr. Canning's request, we gave him a concise, but just view of the state of the business between our governments. He appeared not to have heard before of what had taken place relative to the project of a supplemental convention. He said that he had come too recently into office to be able to say any thing decisive on any of the topicks, of which we had given him a sketch, but that he would soon make himself acquainted with them, and give us another interview. His professions, which were of a general nature, were conciliatory.

Such was the state of affairs when we had the honour to receive your letter of February the 3d. We were anxious to carry into effect the instructions contained in that letter, in the best manner in our power, and with the least possible delay. It became especially our duty to make known to the new ministry, as soon as we might be able, the understanding which had subsisted between the British commissioners, and through them the late cabinet, and us, as to the condition on which we had consented to continue the negotiation, after our project relative to impressments had been rejected; that in fact we had no authority to treat after that event; and that our government was not

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